This paper is an urgent call for political actors, parties and their networks in the UK to establish a robust long-term statutory framework to create the “Ultimate Power Couple” a Pro-Nuclear electricity generation partnership with Wind Water & Solar renewable energy in recognition that it is the physical world, of science, maths and engineering that determines what is politically possible, not the other way round. All the evidence presented and analysed here below, very strongly suggests there is an urgent need for such a new state supported industrial partnership to be formed: a) to create tens of thousands of new jobs building domestic infrastructure; b) to expand UK technology exports; and c) ensure immediate and ongoing action to realise and sustain these outcomes.
The defining inequality in the world today is that between the electricity rich and the electricity poor. Electricity is the world’s most important and fastest-growing form of energy. However, global electricity generation still accounts for between only 9% to 15% (depending on data source) of global energy consumption. Poverty, women’s rights, climate change — indeed, most of the world’s most pressing challenges — can be explained by answering one question: can you turn on your lights, if you're lucky enough to have them? While electricity availability doesn’t guarantee wealth, its absence almost always means poverty. Darkness kills human potential. Electricity nourishes it.
In the battle to replace Big Fossil, there are many compelling equality benefits that an 'Ultimate Power Couple' partnership between the Nuclear and Wind, Water & Solar (WWS) electricity generation sectors could yield, for example:-
1. Eliminate millions of unnecessary deaths, disease and dramatically shortened life spans from respiratory and related diseases, and injuries caused by burning fossil fuels' 85% of global energy demand, and burning bio fuels 8% of global energy used to cook and keep warm: and
2. Connect electricity to 12% of humans - nearly a billion people - now off grid. More than half the 1 billion people in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) live on less than a dollar a day. Women in LDCs have a one in 16 chance of dying in childbirth, compared to one in 3,500 in Europe; LDCs are among the groups of countries most affected by climate change, while they contribute least to it. Many LDCs are also small islands whose very survival is threatened by rising sea levels;
3. Increase electricity supply to 3 billion people on the planet today who are using less energy than the equivalent electricity needed to run by an average refrigerator.
Few would argue with these aims, but they cannot be realised by the Wind, Water & Solar power sectors alone, which will struggle to grow from their current supply of circa 2% of global energy demand, because they:-
1. Can’t produce enough net electricity to cover the energy embedded in their own construction; causing
2. Orders of magnitude increases in mining & extraction activities compared to Nuclear power; causing
3. Huge increases in fossil fuel burning perusing infrastructure build-out, eroding health, wellbeing and life spans; causing
4. Mass industrialisation of nature, accelerating the already rapidly degrading and impoverished environment; plus
5. Countless unborn generations will be denied access to essential non-fuel fossils resources if early 21st Century humans are foolish enough to chase the 100% renewables unicorn, by greedily burning all remaining finite and irreplaceable coal, gas and oil reserves, which we're already half way through.
August 12, 2020 Subject:
A good start.
Good work, but many gaps and a great deal of wishful thinking i.e. the political will is not there in those that have the power, the changes involved are enormous and the associated costs also enormous even assuming the necessary nuclear fuel is obtainable.
There is as much chance of your plan being implemented as there is of every 'underprivileged' person (by 'Western' standards) having a 'Western' standard of living. 'Privileged' consumption and expectations have to fall dramatically.
But I applaud your intentions.
October 24, 2019 Subject:
Fab paper, great message!
I really like the fact that the paper presented the necessary stats about nuclear as cold, hard facts (thats what people need to hear after all). I also like the satirical cartoons that illustrate your points in a little bit more of a 'jazzy' way for people less scientifically minded!